Joe Balaz



On wun park bench

not far from
wun outside amphitheater

I wuz captivated by da vibes
of wun musical trio

playing on wun English horn,
wun stand up bass,

and wun contrabassoon.

Da music found my ears

and da unusual mix of instruments
showed dat anykine combination

can make anykine stew.

Just den

wun guy wit wun goatee
holding wun guitar case

walked up to me
and he wen say,

“Hey Joe,
wattah you know?”

Can you tell me
wheah da improve session is?

And by da way,

wheah are you going
wit dat gun in your hand?”

I told ‘um,

“I wuz gonna set my old lady free

and trow all my wounded wishes
into wun garbage can.”


he stared at me
wit wun undahstanding look

and in wun consoling voice
he wen sort of agree,

“I know wat you mean, brah,
cause my baby took all of my green,

and she broke my will along da way too,
so I can dig it.”

Den he wen wink at me

and I watched him
walk around da corner

to da entrance of da amphitheater
dat I directed him to.

He mistook da stapler in my hand
foa wun pistol

but I just needed it

to secure all da papers
foa da divorce proceedings.

Taking some solace
in wat da guy said

I lit wun cigarette
and gazed skyward at wun tall minaret

wheah wun old man made of glass
chanted out wun soliloquy

dat actually belonged to me.

I taught to myself,

“Love in da world sure can slide
into wun unfortunate abyss

so you might as well
just get out of da way.”

As if on cue

wun guitarist
wit wun goatee joined in wit da trio

and da musicians
proceeded to lay down

wun appropriate rendition
of improvised blues.

Joe Balaz has created works in American English and Hawaiian Islands Pidgin (Hawai'i Creole English).

He presently lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and he is the author of Pidgin Eye.
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